Optimal crosscut saw length

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Forum topic by giser3546 posted 01-20-2016 04:05 PM 677 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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179 posts in 1926 days

01-20-2016 04:05 PM

I am looking at getting a crosscut saw to tide me over till I can get a good chainsaw capable of milling. I am looking at a few used ones and a few new ones. Trouble is the new ones seem to be limited to about 30”-32” while the used ones are close to 50”. A shorter saw would be easier to haul around but I’m wondering if it will limit what I am able to cut. Is there a particular ration between length of saw and width of the log it can easily cut?

I am a pretty little guy (5’7” 170 lb) but have no idea if that means anything. I’d be using it to cut logs to length for milling on my band saw and for cutting firewood, which isn’t needed often.

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

3 replies so far

View Tim's profile


3829 posts in 2415 days

#1 posted 01-20-2016 05:28 PM

Ideally the saw needs to be twice as long as the log is in diameter in order to get the sawdust/shavings to come out the other side. Otherwise the last tooth to enter the kerf, won’t come out the other side and will clog up with sawdust and will slow you down and eventually bind. But with a one man saw with only one handle, you can pull the saw towards you and out of the kerf to clear the gullets of sawdust. That’s slower so it’s up to you how many logs larger than 16” in diameter you’ll be sawing and whether the extra length is worth it to you.

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James Wright

331 posts in 1317 days

#2 posted 01-21-2016 02:02 PM

The standard is more then twice the with of the cut. you got a 20” board you need one at least 40” but I would suggest 50” so you are not bashing your knuckles to get the shavings out of the teeth. but even if you are doing something shorter I like to say your draw length plus the log diameter. for example I am comfortable with a 26”-30” draw (the amount my hands move. so even if I am cutting a 10” log I want my saw to be 36”-40” or longer.

-- James Wright, Rockford IL,

View ATSawyer's profile


17 posts in 3891 days

#3 posted 01-24-2016 09:12 PM

The 2 x diameter length standard is only for double bucking. Will you be sawing with a partner or by yourself? If single bucking, you can clear all chips simply by pulling the saw through the kerf.

-- Dan

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